An in-class exercise in collaboration, and project definition

Your task is to quickly develop some ideas for your multimedia projects.

We will do some brainstorming on possible project ideas, and meet with our colleagues in class to review, assess, evolve, or validate our concepts.

When you have a promising project concept, you will write a short brief to describe it.

How To Write a Video (or Multimedia) Production Brief

A video production brief is simply an outline of what you want in terms of a video. It’s a set of guidelines for a video production company to work from.

Writing a video production brief isn’t very difficult or time consuming. A comprehensive one page summary is usually more than enough to get started.

The brief doesn’t have to follow the format of the checklist below. Those are the critical questions you need to consider for a project, but they can be included into a narrative. Think about an “elevator pitch”; how would you describe it to someone in a minute? I am looking for briefs that read like a director is excited about a cool project, not like a college student is forced to fill out a form.

Need some help? Your video production brief should answer the following questions:

1. The Purpose Of Your video

What do you want to use your video for? Is it a promotional video? Is it a product demonstration? Is it a training video?

2. Target Audience

Who do you want to watch your video? Can they be characterized in any way? What do they already know about the subject of video? What sort of things will appeal to them.

3. Distribution

Where will your video be shown or watched? Will you be using it on the web, on a DVD, or in a presentation? Will it be presented, or must it stand alone?

4. Content

What are the key messages that the video has to communicate? Is there a secondary use for this material.

5. Narration

How do you want your video to be narrated? Would you like a professional voice over, “talking heads”, or a presenter to lead the video?

6. Style

Have you seen any particular videos that you like? How do you want viewers to feel when they watch your video?

7. Budget

How much budget is allocated to your production? Being a student project, the budget is “very low”, so consider how to use free resources and volunteers, or “trade outs”, for your production crew. Keep the project scope within your means. Short and well-done is better than long and poorly constructed.

8. Your Deadline

When does the video need to be completed by? Are there any important dates/ events that the production must be scheduled around?


  1. Start by writing down some of your ideas in any manner that works for you; mind-mapping, lists, short scenarios, “mood board” techniques.
  2. Meet with a small (3 or 4) group and pitch your ideas (let’s try 3 ideas, for this exercise) to them, and ask for feedback. Give your feedback to the others. Everyone is encouraged to suggest any thoughts on improving, expanding, condensing, spinning off, or otherwise utilizing the concepts.
    You are encouraged to keep these ideas loose and flexible. You can propose things in the “Let’s don’t and say we did” mode. You might even adapt someone else’s idea (do this with their permission, please).
  3. If time permits, reform with a completely different group and repeat the process with your newly revised concepts.
  4. Give yourself some time to mull over the input, and write a brief for your favorite(s) concept.

Write the Brief

  1. Refer to the guidelines, How To Write a Video (or Multimedia) Production Brief
  2. Write a brief description of your own project, addressing the steps in the guidelines.
  3. Store a copy into the AVA Dropoff folder titled Briefs.